After labouring for months over orchestral arrangements for his acclaimed Heartland album from earlier this year, locally based pop violinist Owen Pallett decided to turn around this feel-good four-track EP in a stripped-down but no less lush-sounding production style more indicative of his earlier material as Final Fantasy.
The record's titular romance pays homage to the prolific pop stars and producers who've come out of Sweden in recent years, but Konichiwa Bitches this ain't. The lyrics are typically erudite and mysterious, and the mood is heady, with Pallett's celestial vocals floating over crisp, propulsive beats. And just when you think he's moving heavenwards at full-speed, Pallett pulls listeners back to earth with scratchy-sounding violin.
A Swedish Love Story's brevity is basically a kind of pop tease, but the upbeat (or "posi," as he put it in a press release) vibes make for a stirring and enjoyable listen.
Top track: Don't Stop